Friday, 29 March 2013

Happy Easter!

Its Good Friday and the start of a long weekend for those of us in the UK, who also have Easter Monday off!

I wish all of my readers a happy Easter.

Here's a few happy photos I'd like to share with you:

My food has taken the shape of a spaceship! Is it a sign?

 Only a sign of daddy playing silly beggars, Missy!

From my garden, two beautiful springtime treats:


and some saxifrage

Wishing you all a wonderful Easter!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Publishing for beginners - a few easy steps.

1. Write a book.
    This is the easy part. You may think I'm off my trolley, but I'm not. The hours spent slaving over getting the perfect plot, the perfect characters and a wonderful ending are just the beginning.

2. Google 'Getting a novel Published.'
    You thought you spent hours on your book? This is where you really spend hours as you find out the difference between agents, publishing houses and self publishing.

3. Decide to be traditionally published.
     So you Google traditional publishing. You spend hours finding out that agents are angels, spawn of the devil, benign beings looking for the best home for your novel or people who keep you on hold for months and months, as you wait for a reply. Depending on which links you clicked. Believing the truth is out there somewhere, you click a few more links. Goalposts move. A few more hours pass as you re-establish the goalposts. Its ok, you can write the time off as research when you finally do get published and sell enough to be paying tax. That goalpost also moves with every Budget.

4. Wonder what would it be like to self publish?
     Yes, you've guessed it, our friend Google comes into play once more. Spend many hours searching again. Find 'how to' posts that tell you its possible to do it all, if only you know how to format, how to market, how to edit,how to illustrate and design, how to upload, how to deal with different countries' tax laws. Find other articles which say we'll do all that for you, at a cost. Decide it might be nice to be in total control of your book's future.

5. Decide to self publish.
    If some people have done it all, it can't be that hard, can it? Google formatting your book, marketing, editing and uploading. For a little side interest, Google how many books an average self publisher can expect to sell on a first time book. Cry at the hideously low figure. To cheer yourself up, Google successful self publishers and the obscene amount of wealth they've accrued. Cry a little bit more. Buck yourself up and Google the need for editors and cover designers. Read that although you can do it all, you shouldn't! Because it will show - and you'll be sorry when your amateur efforts result in so few sales. Laugh maniacally.

6. Take some time out.
    Sit on a chair and rock. Think of anything but books. Don't even read your own one. Not yet! No, put it down, you fool! Realise you can't stop thinking about books. Breathe deeply so your head doesn't go 'splat' with all the information sloshing around inside it. Go out with a writing buddy, eat cake, make plans and be optimistic.

7. Rise of the Optimist.
    Decide that no matter what, you will try to get your book out there! Enough with Google, already. Buy a copy of Writers Yearbook to find an agent, or decide to go it alone, with outside help if your pocket can afford it. We'll DO this thing! 
After all, writing was the hardest part, wasn't it? 


Monday, 25 March 2013

Introducing....A Rescue's Blog

Today its my very great privilege to introduce to you a new blog.

Called Roscoe the Rescue, it charts the story of my good friends Lynne and Stuart, the loss of their dog Ben and the arrival of their rescue, Roscoe.

You'll read of the decision to adopt, the search for a dog, the weighing up of youngster or middle aged rescue - and the life that Roscoe will lead.

For a dog lover, this is a blog to enjoy! You will find it HERE

Roscoe came from the rescue Any Staffie'll Do - and it for this very rescue that I offered a painting as a prize in their next photo competition.

Friday, 22 March 2013

A chance to win

Today (22nd Mar 2013) I've made an offer of a painting as a prize to Any Staffie'll Do dog rescue.

This is a dog rescue who save Staffies from death row in pounds anywhere across the UK, assesses them, then puts them into foster homes while they try to find them permanent homes in and across Scotland. (where they are based.)

So, if you'd like a chance to win a portrait of your own dog (doesn't have to be a staffie) please bookmark the rescue's Facebook page HERE
You do NOT need to be on facebook to view the page.

Check it when you have time, the competition should be posted soon.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

After the Celebration

Monday was a hectic day for little Missy.
She had her adoption day celebration, new squeaky tennis balls to play with and then a visitor! She absolutely adores people - and tennis balls!
The visit lasted for about three hours.
Here's the aftermath! :)

I spent the quiet time tapping away on my netbook, writing some more to Book Two, in my Leaves series.
My plan is to have three books, which can all be read independently, or as a series. They should make sense, either way! That's the plan, anyhow.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Missy ... seventh celebration

Today is the anniversary of the day we adopted Missy!

Seven years ago today, she came into our lives and home.

She was loved when we adopted her, but that love has grown in depth in the ensuing years.
She's fifteen years old now, and as precious as can be.

Today, we'll do all the things she loves, just as we do every day. Walks, good food, a massage and some play. There'll be an occasional nap too, I'm sure.
Happy anniversary, darling Missy.
Thank you Battersea, for letting us adopt this little beauty!

Friday, 15 March 2013

All in the Leaves - review two!

Here's another review from one of my early readers.
Its been so wonderful to know that others have enjoyed the story I've created.
Once the book has been edited properly, and the cover design settled, it will be going on sale, as an ebook. Later this year.

Review by Benzmum

All in the Leaves - Pat Elliott

Just wanted to say I have now finished reading the copy of It's All in The leaves that Pat has been sending me Chapter by Chapter  -  what a compelling read it is!
It makes you want to know more and more. It is wonderful its a story of love, of passion, of adversity, of heart ache, of joy, of friendship and of course there is a dog in the mix too along with a kitten friend.
I have already emailed to ask for book number 2!!
VERY WELL DONE Pat, I wish you every success publishing this as an e-book (do you publish e-books!??) xx


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

All in the Leaves - a review.

My first novel is written and is currently undergoing editing, to polish it to perfection - I hope!
It should be on sale later in the year.

In the meantime, I thought you might like to read a review from one of my early readers. I was so excited to read this, that I had to share it with you!

Review by Marie Burkhardt

All in the Leaves by Pat Elliott

As you read the story of Anna, you are reminded that life with all its hardships and pain is worth the effort; that to love, lose, and love again is possible; and that if we can recognize when doors are opening to us, and if we will walk through them to the other side, our lives can be fuller, richer, more exciting and meaningful.

Anna's life is safe, but prosaic.  She lives with doting parents and pals around with best friend Chloe, who has her own issues, especially with men. Anna would love to have a man of her own and it seems that is all her life needs, but when her mother puts her in touch with the gentle but wise Barb, Anna learns from a tea cup reading that along with someone to love, she needs purpose.  

Barb instructs her to say yes to opportunities, so Anna agrees to do just that, promising to say yes for the next year to everything presented to her by life, as long as no harm or danger is involved.   As the pages turn, you will find Anna learning new job skills, travelling with Chloe in search of locations for a new business venture, and meeting wonderful new friends.

Brace yourself for some sharp twists and turns as more than one man weaves in and out of Anna's life.  Watch for some delightful moments as Anna's parents stand by her through trying times, happy times and emotional growth.  And don't be surprised if, as you cheer Anna on, you find yourself looking around the corner for your own opportunities.  Anna reminds us that they might be there just waiting!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Fab book!

Over the weekend, I finished reading 'Pedigree Mum'.
The cover was a light-hearted frothy affair showing a slim young mum trying to control a bearded collie type dog, whilst in the background three mums on podiums looked on, with their perfect pooches behaving.

From this and the blurb on the back of the book, you'd be forgiven for thinking this book is all about dogs. It isn't.
Yes, there's a dog in it and a few times he does run off, but then he's never been taught recall.
The main thrust of the book is the story of Kerry and Rob, two people who were happily married and looking forward to moving from London to the coast.
Rob stays behind in the London flat to sell it, gets madly drunk on his 40th and does something incredibly stupid. What happens to Kerry and Rob next comprises the main body of the book. There are many other elements. Buddy the dog is just one of those elements. Children, clowns, lighthouses, piano lessons, posh mums, the magazine industry and posh eateries are more elements.

Fiona Gibson writes beautifully in an easy to read style. If you think from the cover that it will all be light and fluffy, you'd be so very wrong.
Maestros in any art form make their craft look easy - and that's what Fiona does here. Because the book was so easy to read, you could easily miss the great depth of understanding there is for each of the characters. It would have been easy to write one of these characters as a villain, instead of which, for those who read mindfully, we read of the turmoil underneath the surface. The possible villain is shown to be someone who is only too human, with all the capabilities humans have for mistakes, contrition, denial and valiant effort.
I shan't give away the ending of the book, in case some of you decide to read it, but it was a good ending, a realistic ending.

Picking up this book, I expected no more than an escapist bit of fun, which most times I thoroughly enjoy reading. Pedigree mum, despite its cover - gave me so much more!

Beautifully written by Fiona. Highly recommended by me.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Most popular book cover

I'm delighted with how many people have expressed a preference on my book covers.
Not all of them have been on this blog, some have been face to face - imagine that! :)

I thought you might be interested to know that so far, this is the cover that seems to be the most popular as of Mother's Day weekend.

Whatever you're up to tomorrow, whether you celebrate Mother's Day or not, I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. Thanks again for all your interest and input.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Pedigree Mum

Over on Twitter, I follow a few authors.
Only the ones whose books I've read and enjoyed.

One of those authors, Fiona Gibson, held a competition to win a copy of her latest book, Pedigree Mum.
We had to name our favourite fictional dog and explain why.

You all know me and dogs - so that was an easy choice for me. I entered the competition by picking Bolt. He's very recent, so that might be a strange choice for someone of my many years - but he so reminded me of my first dog Spotty - and the film was fun!

Anyway, I won the competition!
Yesterday my book arrived and with it a few extra pampering presents.
This weekend, I'll be reading the book - I'll let you know what I think when I've done.

Here's a pic

Thank you so much Fiona, for sending me a signed copy, too :) xx

Monday, 4 March 2013

Playing with paint and photos

Although I have started writing book two, I am also still playing with ideas for the cover of book one.
I decided to go away from the book and cup cover and try a quick knock up in paint.
This is it:
but, when I was working, one of my patients said, 'that's a coffee pot!'
So this version is consigned to the bin!

Not knowing what to try next, I decided to play with the photo programme and jazz up the first one.

So now, here are some jazzed up versions. Do you have a favourite? I'd love to know which one!

Friday, 1 March 2013

A special Friend

There's a very special dog friend who lives in Scotland and his name is Ben.
He's a staffordshire bull terrier cross, probably crossed with jack russell or whippet.
Missy thinks he's cross because he's not all jack russell! :)

anyway, a while ago, Ben suffered from sudden spinal injury and paralysis.
Glasgow Vet school were brilliant in seeing him through this awful spell in his life and they managed to get him up and going again.

His mum was so happy, that she made a website to show other owners that there is hope after sudden onset spinal injury.
That website is HERE

the website not only includes the journey to wellness, but the wedding of Ben's mum and dad and his glorious self in the pictures.
If you're a dog lover, its a wonderful story and website.

These two pencil portraits were my wedding gift to Lynne and Stuart.